Michael Cohen, right, President Donald Trump's former lawyer, arrives at federal court with his daughter, Samantha Cohen, center, and son, Jake Cohen, for his sentencing for dodging taxes, lying to Congress and violating campaign finance laws in NY on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018.
And some of the information Cohen provided to prosecutors has intensified that inquiry, a person briefed on the matter has said. But Cohen, asked if Trump knew the payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal were wrong, said "of course".
In the Manhattan courtroom, Cohen told U.S. District Judge William Pauley that "blind loyalty" led him to cover up for Trump's "dirty deeds".
He said he's surprised by Trump's argument that Cohen was acting on his own.
"I'm angry at myself because I knew what I was doing was wrong", said Cohen.
In April raids of Mr. Cohen's home, office and hotel room, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents obtained a recorded conversation between Mr. Cohen and Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former adviser to Melania Trump, who worked on the inaugural events.
"Campaign-finance laws are serious, and people do go to jail over them", said Larry Noble, the former general counsel of the Federal Election Commission and a CNN contributor.
Cohen, second from right, Trump's former lawyer, is accompanied Wednesday to his court appearance by his wife Laura Shusterman, and children Samantha and Jake.
The lawyer has already admitted to arranging the $130,000 hush payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, who Trump allegedly had an affair with in 2007.
During a Reuters interview published late Tuesday, Trump tried to brush off a question about his associates' interactions with Russians ahead of and during his presidential campaign by saying it was just "peanut stuff".
The hush money wasn't initially reported on campaign finance documents and, in any case, far exceeded the legally acceptable amount for in-kind contributions.
Neither Guy Petrillo, a lawyer for Cohen, nor Jay Sekulow, an attorney for Trump, immediately responded to requests for comment. In fact, I now know that there is little to be admired.
He also said that Trump "doesn't tell the truth, and it is sad that I should take responsibility for his dirty deeds".
"I am done with the lying", he added.
Cohen attorney Lanny Davis said that after Mueller completes his investigation, Cohen would cooperate with congressional committees as they consider possible wrongdoing by Trump and his aides. "As a lawyer, Michael has great liability to me!"
He also pleaded guilty to financial crimes unrelated to the president.
But the US President insisted Cohen's crimes did not involve campaign finance, and the payments to Daniels and Douglas were "simple private transactions".
It doesn't take a genius to gander that Trump is lashing out on Twitter over the investigation because he's very, very concerned about what Mueller may have on him.
Politico's Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor, observes that the sentencing directly implicates Trump in Cohen's crimes, indicating that he may become an unindicted co-conspirator in future indictments.
"I followed a bad path and hence how we started this conversation", he said.
Stephanopoulos brought up the constant attacks that Trump has been leveling towards Cohen on social media.
President Donald Trump publicly broke his silence Thursday morning on the sentencing of his former personal attorney and "fixer" Michael Cohen. "The people of the United States of America - the people of the world -- don't believe what he's saying", he said.
DOJ's guidance states: 'The indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions'.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Southern District of NY also announced they had reached a non-prosecution agreement with American Media, Inc., the parent company of the National Enquirer.
The sentencing was related to two separate cases brought by the Southern District of NY and Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.